Wednesday, February 05, 2014

More fun with maps

I really can't shake the maps bug I caught a few days ago.

So here is another one I've been working on. Suppose Canada and the United States merged and each of the 10 provinces became states. The result would be a 60-state United States. There would now be 120 U.S. Senators (2 for each state) and the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives would have to be reapportioned among the 60 states. In presidential elections, each state would have the same number of electors as they have members of both houses of congress (so a minimum of 3, 2 senators + 1 congressman).

The territories, as is U.S. practice, would lose their representation in the Senate, get a non-voting delegate to the House and have no say in presidential elections.

Here is what the new U.S. electoral map would look like:

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan would all get the minimum 3 electoral votes in presidential elections, meaning that they would have one at-large congressman representing the entire province state, but 2 senators, the same as big states like California, Texas, Florida, New York, Ontario, Illinois and Ohio.

American states have to sacrifice 44 seats in the House of Representatives to make room for the 10 new ex-Canadian states. And their relative share of representation in the Senate drops from two percent to one-and-two-thirds percent. Specifically, the following states would lose representation under the current U.S. congressional apportionment formula to make way for Canadian seats in the House of Representatives:

  • California -6
  • Texas -4
  • Florida -3
  • New York -3
  • Georgia -2
  • Illinois -2
  • Michigan -2
  • Pennsylvania -2
  • Alabama -1
  • Arizona -1
  • Colorado -1
  • Indiana -1
  • Iowa -1
  • Kentucky -1
  • Maryland -1
  • Massachusetts -1
  • Minnesota -1
  • Nebraska -1
  • Nevada -1
  • New Jersey -1
  • North Carolina -1
  • Rhode Island -1
  • South Carolina -1
  • Tennessee -1
  • Virginia -1
  • Washington -1
  • West Virginia -1
  • Wisconsin -1

To win a presidential election 280 electoral votes would be required (up from 270), due to the electoral college growing by 20 due to new senators.

It would be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win the presidency. Polls suggest Democrats would be the heavy favourites in all provinces in presidential elections, even winning Alberta by about 40 percentage points. If one is generous, we could say the provinces would become 9 blue states and 1 swing state.

This would mean the Democrat would start with 259 electoral votes in the bag, to 173 for the Republican, with 126 swing votes. If one gives Democrats credit for Pennsylvania, a state they've not lost since 1988, they start with 277 votes and the Republican would have to win every single swing state in order to carry the election.

I sure do love fun with maps.